This is exactly the kind of fight we like to see.
So last week Verizon announced their “Any App, Any Device” program - basically promising that they'd be open and let any handset (after it's been tested) be used on their network. Of course, that 'testing' part sounds a little sketchy, and let's face it - how many non-Verizon CDMA phones do you have lying around (or want to make in your basement) that are unlocked and ready to rock on Verizon? So - nice thought, good to see you moving away from evil, Verizon, but the earth has not shook.
Well, AT&T has responded and their response basically boils down to this: “We use SIM cards, ever heard of 'em?” Yes, folks, AT&T cares not which GSM phone you use and it's always pretty much been like that - so the 'Openness' that Verizon has just started has always been around on GSM networks.
“You can use any handset on our network you want,” says Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T's wireless business. “We don't prohibit it, or even police it.”
Allowing 'other unlocked' handsets on your network is very nice, Verizon and AT&T, thank you. Now: quit locking down features like GPS and Bluetooth and trying to turn every blasted thing under the sun into a for-pay 'service' when all we're really doing is using bandwidth from your pipe. If Verizon and AT&T are serious about this 'open' thing, maybe they'll stop being jerks to folks like Skype. Because Skype (and others) want to use that bandwidth pipe and are being blocked.
We're happy these companies are talking about being open, but they don't get the benefit of the doubt from us anymore that they are open because of their history. Actions > Words, guys.